Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Senior Spirit

The newsletter comes from the town senior center: "The Senior Spirit." It fascinates me, I take it in the living room and sit down with it, I read every word. There is foot care on offer, there are meals, there is watercolor instruction, and there are busses to the local mall and even to New York City. My main reaction to reading these items (even including the sing-a-longs): I feel such comfort and safety.

After so many years of looking after children, looking after a husband, looking after an old mother, and now trying to take care of myself, I realize there are now spry, intelligent young people in their 40s and 50s whose job it is to look after me! Maybe some people would resent the supercheerful tone at the end of the phone--when I call to enroll in a memoir writing class--but I find the woman's voice a source of strength. Maybe I would resent it if I were still young myself (or thought I were).

The "Senior Spirit" knows I am not young. In fact, it knows all about me. It knows I want to stay in and watch TV but that it's not good for me. It knows my feet are starting to hurt and that health care insurance confuses me. It knows I wouldn't mind being served a hot meal cooked by someone else and also that I'd like a ride to town occsionally. Wonderful, wonderful newsletter. Now I wonder what I did with it...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jam Today

My tenant went berry-picking and brought me a small container of perfect strawberries, so I decided to try and make jam.

It was easy. I followed the recipe in Joy of Cooking. Even though it boiled over and spattered the stove top and even though I thought the jam turned out too thin, it tasted good and was a great thing to have done.

After the jam cooled off I had some on a piece of toast and oh, honey! It had thickened up beautifully, and I realized I had never really tasted strawberry jam before. Not even when my mother made it because she put lots of pectin in it so it was solid ("good, though").

I couldn't get over the taste of my perfect strawberry jam.
My first thought when I woke up today was "I can have jam for breakfast!"

And I did. And also for lunch. And it's still an amazement!

Now it doesn't matter if my insurance company refused to pay for my last doctor's appointment and the IRS sent me a letter about failing to sign my return. Because I made beautiful jam.